and in stature..."
The Administration Building
first suggestion of an Administration Building was made at the Annual
Field Day Dinner in Keil Hall in November, 1918, by Mr. S. W. Traylor, of
Allentown, Pa. Mr. Traylor, while finishing an impromptu toast, called
attention to the need of such a building for the Academy. He said that he
would subscribe the sum of twelve thousand five hundred dollars to start
the building and he challenged the boys of the school to subscribe an
equal amount. He appointed a committee to take charge of the matter with
Dr. J. G. Rose, of Mercersburg, as Chairman. The Rev. W. J. Muir, the
Field Agent of the Academy, was also a member of the committee and within
a year and a half after the challenge was made the subscription list was
thought to be large enough to justify the beginning of the work.
In June, 1920, in Commencement Week, ground was broken for the Building
with appropriate ceremony. The Hon. Edwin Stewart, of Philadelphia, Pa., a
former Governor of Pennsylvania, made the address, and Mr. Traylor threw
out the first shovelful of ground. Very shortly thereafter bids were
received from five different firms in Baltimore, New York, and
Philadelphia. On account of war conditions and the high price of
materials, each of these bids was approximately two hundred thousand
dollars. No one thought it wise to try to put so much money into an
Administration Building. The building committee waited until the Fall of
1920 when the foundations were erected under the direct supervision of the
building committee itself. A Superintendent of Construction was used for
this purpose. In March, 1921, the contract for the rest of the building
was given to Hicks, Tase & Norris, of Baltimore, Md., their bid being
approximately one hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars. Including the
expense of erecting the foundations, also the extras which occur with
every new building, and the various furnishings the total cost of the
Administration Building will be approximately one hundred and sixty
It was hoped that the building would be ready for occupancy in September,
1921. Delays in receiving the Indiana limstone, which is used for
trimming, and certain other materials have brought it about that the
building will not be ready for occupancy before May 1, 1922. On account of
the work necessary in moving the executive offices, also by reason of much
grading which must be done around the Administration Building, the School
Management does not expect to occupy the Administration Building until
after Commencement, 1922.
The Administration Building is Collegiate-Gothic in style. Day & Klauder,
of Philadelphia, are the architects. The walls are made of local blue
limestone laid in flat courses and the work is trimmed with Indiana
limestone. The first story of the building contains the Academy Athletic
Store, the Academy Postoffice, offices for the Matron and the
Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, a bedroom for the two boys who
have charge of the Athletic Store, also a vault for the Academy Treasurer
and a store room for the materials used in the offices of the Head Master
and the Registrar. There are also toilet rooms, a house maid's sink, and
an unpacking room with several closets which may be used for storage
The upper story of the building contains the offices of the Head Master,
the Registrar, the Treasurer, the Disciplinarian, the Secretary to the
Head Master, the Head Master's stenographers, and the office of the
Assistant Head Master when this position shall be filled. There is also a
rest room for mothers.
The most important part of the entire building, of course, is the large
Reception Hall from which the various offices may be entered. This
reception room is sixty-four feet six inches long, twenty-four feet six
inches wide. The room is finished in Gothic style with a high wainscot and
a hammerbeam roof. The open timbers of the roof and the oak wainscot are
finished in dark colors. At one end of the reception room is a large open
fireplace and two large Gothic windows extending from the floor to the
roof. At the eastern end of the reception room is a gallery and above it
is a large, attractive Gothic window. At the point of the arches
immediately under the roof will be placed in color the coats-of-arms of
twelve of the leading preparatory schools of the world. Six of these will
be arms of English schools as follows: Winchester, Eton, Harrow, Rugby,
Westminster, and Cheltenham. The six American schools represented on these
painted shields are Andover, Exeter, St. Paul's at Concord, N. H.;
Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, and Mercersburg. Immediately over the front door
which leads directly into the Reception Hall are carved in Indiana
limestone the arms of three schools. Immediately above the point of the
arch are the arms of Mercersburg. To the left are the arms of Winchester,
the mother school of all institutions of this type in the world,
Winchester having been founded in the year 1787 by William of Wyckham. To
the right of the Mercersburg arms, as one enters the building, are seen
the arms of Phillips Exeter. Dr. Irvine, our Head Master, received his
preparatory training at Exeter and brought the Exeter ideal to Mercersburg
nearly thirty years ago.
In the large reception room where parents will first bring their boys when
the latter are enrolled, will be placed certain of the school portraits.
In this room also the large palms which are now in Keil Hall, and at North
Cottage will be used for decorative effect.
The other room in the Administration Building upon which especial care has
been bestowed in the way of decoration is the Head Master's room. This
room occupies the top floor of the entire southern wing of the building.
It is sixteen feet six inches wide and twenty-nine feet nine inches long.
It has a canopy ceiling, also a high oak wainscot and an open fireplace.
The large Gothic window, which, in a measure, fills the southern wall of
this room, is unusually attractive. Great care will be taken in furnishing
the various offices and rooms in the Administration Building. In
beautifying the reception room and the Head Master's room it has been kept
in mind that the Administration Building will be used for certain
functions in connection with the school's social activities which
heretofore has not been possible.
The grading and the planting about the building will be studied with great
care. A professional horticulturist has been engaged by the Head Master to
help make these plans. It is intended to plant this whole front section of
the campus in such a way that it will be one of the most beautiful spots
in the entire Cumberland Valley.
The new Administration Building when finished will be very beautiful; it
will fill a long-felt need in the organization of the school; in larger
measure than can be said of any other building on the campus it will be
erected by the subscriptions of the boys themselves.